Correlation equations on fire-induced air flow rates through doorway derived by large eddy simulation

Wan Ki Chow, G. W. Zou

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Air flow rates through a doorway are important in modelling compartment fires. The ventilation factor is regarded as a key parameter and numerous efforts have been made on deriving the correlation of air flow rates with it. Most of the correlation expressions reported in the literature were derived empirically from experiments. The results might be different if the fire geometry, fuel type and ambient conditions are changed. Further, the heat release rates measured in most of the experiments were based on the mass loss rate of fuel, not by the oxygen consumption method. There might be some deviations from the actual heat release rates. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is now a practical tool in fire engineering. Aerodynamics through a doorway induced by a compartment fire can be simulated accurately. Factors which are difficult to control in experiments but affecting the doorway flow can be studied. The Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA, is one of such CFD software. This is a product achieved from long-term research on developing a CFD model capable of carrying out fire simulations. This model is different from the others based on the Reynolds Averaging Navier-Stokes equations method. Physical processes occuring at small length and time scales were modelled by large eddy simulation (LES). Larger length scale on buoyancy-induced turbulence flow structure was computed directly from the set of equations with acoustic waves filtered out. The new version of this CFD package, FDS version 3.01, is now applied to derive equations on doorway flow rates induced by a fire. Results will be compared with those reported in the literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)897-906
Number of pages10
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2005


  • CFD
  • Compartment fire
  • Doorway flows
  • Indoor aerodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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